A recent report by the Jewish Agency revealed that a greater number of Jewish people have been "dying to get out of their home countries—or, in some cases, getting out so they don't die." The report also stated that the 28 percent increase in Aliyah to Israel has been more a factor of being pushed than pulled.
The two countries that combined for a third of those immigrating to Israel were France and the Ukraine.
At first glance, these two countries seem worlds apart. The Russian invasion and ongoing war makes it quite easy to understand the increased desire for poor Jewish people to leave the Ukraine, but what about France? Jewish people have enjoyed a high level of influence and affluence there for many years. Isn't anti-Semitism supposed to be politically incorrect?
But there is an easy solution. Many simply veil their anti-Semitism with a more acceptable approach. It appears that being anti-Israel is all the rage. Israel's Operation Protective Edge in July ignited a firestorm of protests and violence in France and in nation after nation.
The violence initiated from Gaza and Israel's response helped unite the global Israel-hating cause. The Anti-Defamation League recently published many of the disturbing proclamations, events and headlines from around the world, and it seems no country is exempt. These are all manifestations of thinly veiled anti-Semitism.
In August, six teenagers boarded a bus transporting a group of Jewish students ages 5 to 12 years old and threatened "to cut their throats." The teenagers also shouted "Heil Hitler," "Kill the Jews," "Palestine must kill you Jews" and "Free Palestine."
In July, a swastika, accompanied by an obscene word, were spray-painted on a bus shelter in a Jewish neighborhood of a Toronto suburb.
In July, following an anti-Israel demonstration, a protester threw two Molotov cocktails at the security kiosk of the Jewish Community Center. Additionally, a kosher store was attacked with Molotov cocktails during an illegal anti-Israel demonstration, and several other stores were damaged in the violence.
Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue. An 18-year-old was arrested; he was identified as a Palestinian.
The Rabbi of a Jewish community was attacked by an assailant and suffered a broken nose and ribs.
Two people wearing keffiyehs beat a woman who displayed an Israeli flag on her balcony.
"Free Gaza" was spray-painted on a synagogue. And the list goes on ...
Consider what Russian Jewry must be making of the recent statements made by the Deputy of State Duma Elena Mazulina from the United Russia Party. She declared that the modern Russian Federation is not eager to see the representatives of Jewish people on its territory.
Violence, protests, anti-Semitism, hate rhetoric and terror threats together have camouflaged the divine order in all of this chaos. God has promised to regather His people from the four corners of the earth. Therefore, upon closer examination, one can see how all of this is working together to fulfill that divine purpose.
Anti-Semitism is not simply an attack on Jewish people. It is a direct affront to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is in essence a mocking of His faithfulness and ability to fulfill His promises.
Therefore we can take heart that the turmoil in and around the world is further evidence of God's faithfulness. It is through this chaos that He is stirring the hearts of His people to return to Israel once more.
Rev. Gary T. Cristofaro serves as director of development for Ezra International. He pastored First Assembly of God in Melbourne, Florida for 14 years.
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